It will be win or go home on Monday afternoon when the Cal State Fullerton Titans meet the Florida State Seminoles. Each team lost their CWS opener and now must grind through the loser’s bracket to have a chance to win it all. They are facing a steep, uphill climb as only three of the last 36 champions have lost their first game and ended up being crowned champions. Neither team will have their best starter for this one either, making the task that much more difficult.
This game will take place at 2 p.m. ET on Monday, June 19, 2017. It will be broadcast on ESPN.
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John Gavin will head to the mound to keep the Titans CWS hopes alive.
Gavin was arguably a better pitcher than ace Connor Seabold this season, with a 2.67 ERA in 16 starts and a sterling 8-2 record. He has a K/9 of 7.93 and has been on a tear recently.
With their backs against the wall in the Super Regional against rival Long Beach State, the Titans turned to Gavin to get the win. He responded in a big way, throwing a complete game shutout against one of the best teams in the country.
He plunked two batters against LBSU, so keep an eye on his control.
FSU doesn’t have such a clear-cut choice for who will come to the mound on Monday afternoon. Other than superstar Tyler Horton, the Noles haven’t had consistently reliable starters this season.
Freshman Drew Parrish will likely get the nod from coach Mike Martin. Parrish pitched the clinching game of FSU’s Super Regional win against Sam Houston State and was electric. Then, he struck out nine in five innings of shutout baseball.
That followed a dominant 12 strikeout performance against Tennessee Tech in the regional, but things didn’t go so swimmingly for Parrish when FSU was playing the ACC elites in April and May. He got shelled in many of those series and had a 5.01 ERA before the NCAA Tournament started.
Hitters to Watch
Cal State Fullerton didn’t have its best offensive performance against Oregon State, but managed five runs by taking advantage any time it had players on base. The Titans had just three hits and four walks, but stacked almost all of them into two innings and that was almost enough for the win.
Scott Hurst is the best hitter on the team and will be looked to provide the offense. He is the only everyday player with an OPS over 1 and is the only player on this team with real power. Hurst could tee off against the Seminoles youngster.
It’s all about Dylan Busby for the Seminoles. Busby went yard and drove in three against LSU, but struck out looking for the final out of the game. He is the main reason why the Seminoles are here and will need to have a good performance against a quality pitcher like Gavin.
One of the bright spots in the loss for Florida State was Taylor Walls. Walls set the school record for most consecutive times reaching base against LSU, getting on base 14 times in a row stretching back to the last few games before it was snapped. He is a consummate lead-off hitter and can start a rally.
College World Series ATS Pick
There’s no doubt that the Titans have the pitching advantage. Gavin has been much more reliable than Parrish and is used to pitching under pressure.
However, FSU has much better hitters and have lit up some of the best in college baseball over the last few weeks.
With that in mind, a parlay might be an order. Either take FSU and the over or CSU Fullerton and the under. Each would give you a nice return on your investment.
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